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RONALD ALLEN

SIGNED FROM PORT VALE BY JACK SMITH, RONNIE ALLEN WAS KNOWN AS THE ‘COMPLETE FOOTBALLER’ AND THE KING-PIN OF ALBION’S WONDERFUL ATTACK OF THE 1950’S, RONNIE FILLED EVERY FORWARD POSITION FOR THE CLUB, WITH CENTRE-FORWARD UNDOUBTEDLY HIS BEST.

HE POSSESSED A POWEFUL SHOT IN BOTH FEET AND WAS A SUPERB VOLLEYER OF THE BALL AND ACE PENALTY-TAKER, SCORING WELL OVER 40 TIMES ‘OFF THE SPOT’ FOR ALBION.

WINNER OF FIVE ENGLAND CAPS 1952-54, HE ALSO REPRESENTED THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE, THE ENGLAND ‘B’ TEAM, THE FA XI AND THE R.A.F. RONNIE WON AN FA CUP WINNERS’ MEDAL IN 1954 WHEN HIS TWO GOALS HELPED ALBION BEAT PRESTON 3-2 AT WEMBLEY, AND IN 1967 HE LED WOLVES BACK INTO THE FIRST DIVISION. TWO YEARS LATER HE WAS WITH BILBAO WHEN THEY CARRIED OFF THE SPANISH CUP.

FOR ALBION ALONE RONNIE A HUGE FAVOURITE WITH THE FANS APPEARED IN 415 LEAGUE GAMES ALL IN DIVISION ONE AND HE SCORED 208 GOALS, A CLUB RECORD WHICH STOOD FOR 17 YEARS UNTIL BEATEN BY TONY BROWN IN 1978.

RONNIE ALSO PLAYED IN 42 FA CUP-TIES (23 GOALS SCORED) AND HE HIT A SPLENDID HAT-TRICK IN THE 1954 CHARITY SHIELD GAME WITH WOLVES (4-4).

DURING HIS MAGNIFICENT CAREER RONNIE AMASSED A GRAND TOTAL OF 637 LEAGUE APPEARANCES (276 GOALS) AND IN ALL MATCHES INC FRIENDLIES ETC HE TOTTED UP WELL OVER 800, SCORING 354 TIMES.

RONNIE HOLDS THE UNIQUE RECORD OF BEING THE ONLY PLAYER TO HAVE SCORED IN EACH OF THE FIRST TWENTY POST-WAR SEASONS (1945/6 TO 1964/5 INCLUSIVE).

HE WAS THE FIRST DIVISION’S TOP MARKSMAN IN 1954/5 WITH 27 GOALS.

THE 2 GOALS IN THE 1954 FA CUP FINAL SEALED RONNIE’S PLACE IN ALBION FOLKLORE. AFTER HE SCORED THE PENALTY IN THE FINAL THE REFEREE TURNED TO HIM AND SAID “IF YOU HAD MISSED I WOULD HAVE ORDERED A RETAKE BECAUSE THE KEEPER MOVED” RONNIE TURNED TO HIM AND SAID IF YOU HAD DONE THAT YOU COULD HAVE TOOK IT YOURSELF”.

ONE OF HIS MOST MEMORABLE GOALS CAME AGAINST ASTON VILLA 29THAPRIL 1959 WITH ALMOST THE LAST KICK OF THE GAME RELEGATING VILLA TO DIVISION 2.

RONNIE CAME BACK TO THE ALBION AS MANAGER ON TWO OCCASIONS FROM JUNE 1977 TO DECEMBER 1977 A PERIOD WHICH HE SET THE FOUNDATIONS FOR THE TEAM THAT RON ATKINSON TOOK TO THIRD IN THE LEAGUE. HIS SECOND SPELL CAME AFTER ATKINSON LEFT TO JOIN MANCHESTER UNITED.

DEBUT V. WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS (HOME) DIV 1. 4-3-1950 (SCORING IN A 1-1 DRAW).

 

 

 

 

JEFF ASTLE

JEFF ASTLE BORN EASTWOOD NOTTINGHAMSHIRE MAY 1942 CHOSEN FOR GODS PREMIER TEAM JANUARY 2002. JEFF ASTLE PROVED A BARGAIN BUY FOR THE ALBION IN 1964 A BRILLIANT CENTRE FORWARD, EXCEPTIONAL IN THE AIR A SKILL WHICH HE LEARNED FROM TOMMY LAWTON WHILE HE WAS AT NOTTS COUNTY.

 

JEFFS FIRST EVER LEAGUE APPERANCE READING V NOTTS COUNTY SEPTEMBER 21ST 1961 HE WORE THE NUMBER 7 SHIRT THAT DAY AND NOTTS COUNTY LOST 4 – 2 WITH ROY HORBIN AND ALAN WITHERS SCORING FOR COUNTY.

 

 

HIS FIRST LEAGUE GOAL FOR NOTTS COUNTY WAS AGAINST COLCHESTER UNITED            IN A 2 – 2 DRAW AT LAYER ROAD  SEPTEMBER 1962

HIS LAST GAME FOR NOTTS COUNTY WAS ON MONDAY 28TH SEPTEMBER 1964 AGAINST NEWPORT COUNTY

 

 

TWO DAYS LATER HE SIGNED FOR THE ALBION ON WEDNESDAY MORNING WENT HOME FROM TRAINING TOLD HIS WIFE HE HAD SIGNED FOR THE ALBION, THEN THEY BOTH JUMPED IN THE CAR DROVE TO LEICESTER CITY AND MADE HIS DEBUT FOR THE ALBION V LEICESTER AWAY THAT NIGHT 30TH SEPTEMBER 1964 WHICH ALBION LOST 4 – 2 IN FRONT OF A 17,218 CROWD. CRAM (PEN) WILLIAMS THE SCORERS.

 

 

 

 

THE SECOND GAME OF HIS ALBION CAREER WAS AWAY AGAIN AT SHEFFIELD UNITED ON THE FOLLOWING SATURDAY 3RD OCTOBER IN FRONT OF 17,592 IN A 1 – 1 DRAW CARTER SCORING FOR THE ALBION.

 

 

HIS HOME DEBUT PROVED TO BE THE START OF A LONG LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE FANS      2 GOALS AGAINST THE WOLVES AND A “KING” WAS BORN. 23,006 THERE TO WITNESS THE KINGS DEBUT. IN A 5 – 1 VICTORY AGAINST THE OLD ENEMY FROM STAFFORDSHIRE. THE FIRST OF 174 GOALS HE WAS TO SCORE FOR THE ALBION.

 

 

 

OF HIS 174 GOALS FOR THE BAGGIES, THE MOST NOTABLE WAS PROBABLY THE ONLY GOAL IN THE 1968 FA CUP FINAL, WITH WHICH HE COMPLETED THE FEAT OF SCORING IN EVERY ROUND OF THE COMPETITION. ( SEE CUP GAMES)

 

 

 

 

22ND NOVEMBER 1969 JEFF REACHED A PERSONAL MILESTONE HIS 100TH LEAGUE GOAL IN A 3 – 0 VICTORY OVER SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY

 

 

 

JEFF ROUNDS WEDNESDAYS PETER SPRINGETT TO SCORE HIS 100TH LEAGUE GOAL FOR THE CLUB

 

 

 

 

ONE OF JEFFS GOALS PROVED TO BE ONE OF THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL IN FOOTBALL. ALBION HAD NOT WON AWAY FOR 18 MONTHS AND THEY HAD TO FACE DON REVIES LEEDS UNITED WHO WERE FAVORITE’S TO WIN EVERYTHING THAT SEASON AND WERE VIRTUALLY UNBEATABLE AT HOME. TONY BROWN RAN FROM HIS OWN HALF WITH COLIN SUGGETT RUNNING BACK TO HIS OWN GOAL IN THE LEEDS HALF . BROWN RAN THEN STOPPED NOTICED THE REF HAD WAVED PLAY ON THEN CARRIED ON THEN WITH SPRAKE COMING TO HIM PASSED TO JEFF WHO DID WHAT HE WAS PAID TO DO JUST PUT THE BALL IN THE NET. THE LEEDS FANS INVADED THE PITCH ARRESTS WERE MADE  BUT THE GOAL WAS ALLOWED TO STAND ENDING THE AWAY RUN OF DEFEATS. THE INQUIRIES RAN FOR DAYS AFTER RESULTING IN THE LEEDS GROUND BEING SHUT AT HE START OF THE NEXT SEASON, LEEDS MISSING OUT ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP NOT ONLY THAT SEASON BUT THE FOLLOWING SEASON BECAUSE OF PLAYING THERE FIRST 6 HOME GAMES AWAY . JACK CHARLTON  A  FEW YEARS LATER WAS GIVING A TALK ABOUT HIS DAYS AT LEEDS,AT A  FOOTBALL WRITERS PRESENTATION HE WAS HALF WAY THROUGH STOPPED POINTED TO JEFF AND SAID “AND THAT BASTARD COST US THE CHAMPIONSHIP TWICE”. JEFF JUST SMILED AND SHOUTED BACK “COME ON JACK YOU KNOW YOU SHOULD ALWAYS PLAY TO THE WHISTLE”.

 

 

JEFF SCORED HIS LAST EVER LEAGUE GOAL FOR ALBION 23RD FEBRUARY 1974 IN A 2 -2 DRAW AGAINST BRISTOL CITY IN FRONT OF 18,928 FANS

 

 

JEFFS LAST GAME CAME ON 30TH MARCH 1974 IN A DIVISION 2 GAME WHICH ENDED IN A 2 – 2 DRAW WITH CARDIFF CITY IN FRONT OF 11,528 FANS.

HOWEVER JEFF MADE ONE LAST APPERANCE IN AN ALBION SHIRT IN HIS TESTAMONIAL INVOLVING THE PRESENT DAY TEAM AND THE CLASSOF 68 WHICH INCLUDED HIS OLD FRIEND GEORGE BEST 29TH OCTOBER 1974 JUST OVER 10 YEARS SINCE HE HAD MADE HIS DEBUT. GEORGE BEST HAD A REPUTATION AROUND THAT TIME OF ENJOYING A LITTLE DRINK AND WOULD OFTEN PROMISE TO BE SOMEWHERE AND THEN FORGET TO GO. JEFF HAD ASKED GEORGE TO PLAY IN HIS TESTIMONIAL BUT KNEW OF HIS REPUTATION AND WAS A BIT WORRIED THAT HE WOULD NOT TURN UP. ON ARRIVAL AT THE GROUND JEFF ASKED THE COMMISSIONAIRE TO LET HIM KNOW WHEN GEORGE ARRIVED. THE COMMISIONAIRE THEN TOLD JEFF THAT GEORGE WAS ALREADY THERE WAITING FOR HIM. SUCH WAS THE RESPECT OTHERS HAD FOR JEFF IN THE FOOTBALL WORLD.

 

JEFF ASTLE AND  GEORGE BEST BEFORE JEFFS TESTIMONIAL GAME

 

PROGRAMME SIGNED BY JEFF ASTLE GEORGE BEST AND ALL OF THE 68 FA CUP WINNING SIDE

FANS MOURN THE PASSING OF ONE OF THE ALL TIME GREATS MR JEFF ASTLE

CLIPPING FROM 1992 WHERE ARE THEY NOW

 

 

 

 

RAY BARLOW

RAY BARLOW WAS SPOTTED PLAYING FOR A WILTSHIRE-BASED WORKS SIDE BY FORMER BAGGIES CENTRE-FORWARD JIMMY COOKSON. COOKSON BY THEN WAS A PUBLICAN IN SWINDON, WHERE BARLOW WAS BORN IN 1926.

HIS DEBUT FOR ALBION CAME IN A WAR LEAGUE CUP MATCH ON FEBRUARY 3RD 1945 IN A 2-0 DEFEAT TO WALSALL HIS LEAGUE DEBUT CAME HOWEVER AGAINST NEWPORT COUNTY 28TH SEPTEMBER 1946 IN A 7-2 VICTORY WITH BARLOW BEING AMONGST THE SCORERS. FOLLOWING A BRIEF SPELL AS INSIDE-FORWARD, BARLOW WAS CONVERTED TO A LEFT-HALF, ALTHOUGH HE WAS CAPABLE OF FILLING IN AT THE BACK OR UP FRONT WHEN NEEDED. FOR MOST OF THE 1950S BARLOW, A TALL, ELEGANT PLAYMAKER, WAS TO BECOME THE CREATIVE FORCE OF THE GREAT ALBION SIDE OF THAT ERA.

HE WASN’T SHY IN THE TACKLE EITHER, YET IT WAS HIS CLOSE CONTROL AND ABILITY ON THE BALL WHICH CAPTURED THE IMAGINATION. BARLOW WAS A REMARKABLY LOYAL MAN AND, IN AN ERA WHERE THE TEAM CAME BEFORE EGOS, HE WAS MORE THAN HAPPY TO PLAY WHERE HE WAS ASKED, FAMOUSLY ONCE SAYING ‘YES’ TO A MANAGER BEFORE THE INEVITABLE REQUEST FOR HIM TO FILL IN ELSEWHERE HAD BEEN MADE.

HE WAS A MAIN FIGURE IN ALBION’S PUSH FOR THE LEAGUE AND CUP DOUBLE IN 1954, PLAYING A VITAL ROLE IN THE 3-2 FA CUP FINAL VICTORY AGAINST PRESTON. IT WAS A TACKLE ON HIM BY TOMMY DOCHERTY WHICH EARNED ALBION A PENALTY, CONVERTED BY RONNIE ALLEN. HE SAID IN AN INTERVIEW MANY YEARS LATER THAT PEOPLE ALWAYS ACCUSED HIM OF BEING THE PLAYER WHO STARTED DIVING FOR PENALTIES, TRUTH IS DOCHERTY COULD NOT KEEP UP WITH HIM AND THE ONLY WAY TO STOP HIM WAS TO KICK HIM. BETWEEN 1944-60 HE MADE 482 APPEARANCES AND SCORED 48 GOALS.

HIS FINAL GAME FOR ALBION WAS AGAINST BLACKPOOL 7TH NOVEMBER 1959 IN A 2-1 VICTORY AT THE HAWTHORNS PLAYING AT CENTER HALF. AFTER LEAVING ALBION HE WENT ON TO PLAY FOR BIRMINGHAM CITY BEFORE TAKING OVER A TOBACCONIST AND CONFECTIONERY SHOP IN WEST BROMWICH


 

TONY BROWN

 

THE BOMBER

 (born 3 October 1945 in Oldham) played as a wing half and an inside forward. He joined West Brom as a youth in 1961 and turned professional in 1963. In the late 1960s and early 1970s Brown was part of an Albion team that built a reputation as a successful cup side, winning the 1966 Football League Cup Final and the 1968 FA Cup Final and finishing as runners-up in the League Cup in 1967 and 1970. He was the top scorer in Division One in 1970-71 and received his only England cap at the end of that season.

ANTHONY JOHN BROWN

After relegation in 1973, he helped Albion to win promotion back to Division One in 1976. He scored 279 goals in 720 competitive games for Albion, both club records. He is often referred to by his nickname “Bomber”.

BROWN JOINED WEST BROM AS AN APPRENTICE PROFESSIONAL ON 13 APRIL 1961, EARNING A WAGE OF £6 A WEEK. AFTER TWO SEASONS PLAYING YOUTH FOOTBALL, HE MADE HIS RESERVE TEAM DEBUT IN THE FINAL CENTRAL LEAGUE GAME OF 1962-63, SCORING IN A 3-2 DEFEAT TO MANCHESTER UNITED RESERVES. HE TURNED PROFESSIONAL ON 27 SEPTEMBER 1963 AND WAS IMMEDIATELY CALLED UP TO THE FIRST TEAM SQUAD FOR THE AWAY MATCH AT IPSWICH TOWN THE FOLLOWING DAY. EDDIE READFERN WAS UNABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE GAME DUE TO ILLNESS, WHICH MEANT THAT BROWN WAS GIVEN HIS LEAGUE DEBUT, JUST A FEW DAYS BEFORE HIS 18TH BIRTHDAY; HIS EQUALISING GOAL HELPED ALBION TO A 2-1 AWAY WIN. READFERN WAS RECALLED FOR THE NEXT GAME HOWEVER, MEANING THAT BROWN IMMEDIATELY RETURNED TO THE RESERVES, ALTHOUGH BROWN DID RETURN TO THE FIRST TEAM IN MID-OCTOBER, WHEN HE SCORED ON HIS HOME DEBUT AGAINST ASTON VILLA.

HE WAS SELECTED SPORADICALLY BY ALBION MANAGER JIMMY HAGAN DURING THE REMAINDER OF 1963-64 AND FINISHED THE CAMPAIGN ON FIVE GOALS IN THIRTEEN APPEARANCES. IN THE LATTER PART OF THE SEASON HE MISSED FOUR LEAGUE GAMES WHEN HE WAS CALLED UP TO THE ENGLAND YOUTH SQUAD FOR THE UEFA EUROPEAN YOUTH TOURNAMENT IN THE NETHERLANDS. ENGLAND WON THE COMPETITION BUT BROWN WAS NOT SELECTED FOR ANY OF THE GAMES. BROWN BECAME A REGULAR FIRST TEAM PLAYER DURING THE EARLY PART OF THE 1964-65 CAMPAIGN, APPEARING IN ALBION’S FIRST 12 LEAGUE GAMES OF THE SEASON. DURING THIS PERIOD HE SCORED SIX GOALS, INCLUDING HIS FIRST PROFESSIONAL HAT-TRICK, WHICH CAME IN A 4-1 WIN AGAINST SUNDERLAND. HOWEVER HE LOST HIS PLACE SHORTLY AFTER THE SIGNING OF JEFF ASTLE AND PLAYED JUST FIVE MORE GAMES THAT SEASON. A DESIRE TO PLAY FIRST TEAM FOOTBALL LED HIM TO SUBMIT A TRANSFER REQUEST, WHICH JIMMY HAGAN TURNED DOWN, BUT BROWN CONTINUED HIS SCORING RUN IN THE RESERVE TEAM, HITTING 22 GOALS IN 20 GAMES.

 

At the start of the 1965-66 season, Brown was still playing in the reserves, but an injury to Clive Clark in September 1965 gave him the opportunity to reclaim his first team place. Brown scored against Everton on his return and remained a regular in the side for the rest of the season, scoring 17 goals in 35 league games. His tally in the league was just short of team mates John Kaye and Jeff Astle, who each scored 18 times, but Brown finished as the club’s top scorer overall-with 27 goals-due to his goals in the Football League Cup. Albion were taking part in the competition for the first time, after the FA offered the winners a place in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. Brown became the first player to score in every round of the League Cup, including a hat-trick in the semi-final, second leg against Peterborough United. In the final, Brown’s goal helped his team to a 4-1 second leg victory over West Ham United. Albion won 5-3 on aggregate to take the trophy and secure Brown his first major honour. He has since said of the game:

 

Brown missed two months of the following season due to a back injury. He made his return in the second leg of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup against DOS Utrecht, when he took-and scored-his first penalty kick in senior football; he went on to become Albion’s regular penalty taker, scoring 51 of 61 spot-kicks during his time at the club. He scored twice more in the Utrecht match and as of September 2008 remains the only Albion player to have scored a hat-trick in a European competition. Albion again reached the League Cup Final, which was played at Wembley for the first time. This time however, Brown was on the losing side as Albion lost 3-2 to Third Division Queens Park Rangers, having led 2-0 at half-time. In May 1968 he won an FA Cup winners medal as Albion beat Everton 1-0 after extra time. Brown played for the young England side in April 1969 against the full England side.He played in the 1970 League Cup Final, where he picked up his second runners-up tankard as Albion lost 2-1 to Manchester City. In 1970-71 Brown was the leading scorer in Division One with 28 goals, and was rewarded with his only full England cap on 19 May 1971, playing in a goalless draw against Wales at Wembley.

He remained at Albion after their relegation to Division Two at the end of 1972-73. A testimonial match was staged for Brown at the Hawthorns on 6 May 1974, an Albion / Aston Villa side taking on a Wolves / Birmingham side.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

LEN CANTELLO

 

LEN CANTELLO (BORN SEPTEMBER 11, 1951 IN MANCHESTER, ENGLAND) MIDFIELDER. HE STARTED HIS CAREER WITH                    WEST BROM PLAYING 11 YEARS FOR THEM, DESPITE BEING TRANSFER-LISTED IN 1974. IN 1979 HE MOVED TO BOLTON WANDERERS, SPENDING THREE YEARS WITH THEM, BEFORE MOVING TWO DIVISIONS DOWN TO HEREFORD UNITED. HE MADE JUST ONE APPEARANCE AND THEN MOVED TO BURY. IN 1983 HE WAS TRANSFERRED TO DUTCH SIDE SC CAMBUUR.

LEN WAS AWARDED A TESTIMONIAL MAY 15TH 1979 WBA XI AGAINST A CYRILE REGIS XI SCORE 2 -3 ATT 7,023

 

 


 

                     DAVID BURNSIDE

 

 

 

 


 

  LAURIE CUNNINGHAM

 

BORN HOLLOWAY, MARCH 8, 1956. DIED 1989.

LAURIE CUNNINGHAM WILL PROBABLY ALWAYS BE BEST REMEMBERED AS BEING ONE OF WEST BROMWICH ALBION’S SO CALLED THREE DEGREES, ALONG WITH BRENDON BATSON AND CYRILLE REGIS, IN THE LATE 1970’S. WITH THE ARRIVAL OF BATSON FROM CAMBRIDGE AND THE EMERGENCE OF CYRILLE REGIS OUT OF NON LEAGUE FOOTBALL THE FOLLOWING SEASON, ALBION BECAME EXTREMELY NEWSWORTHY AS A HIGH PROFILE CLUB FIELDING THREE BLACK PLAYERS.

LAURIE CUNNINGHAM BEGAN HIS CAREER AT ORIENT IN THE SECOND DIVISION AND IMMEDIATELY MADE AN IMPRESSION THANKS MAINLY TO HIS BLISTERING PACE, HE REALLY WAS A FLYER. DURING HIS SECOND SEASON IN THE FIRST TEAM, HOWEVER, CUNNINGHAM’S ALL ROUND GAME DEVELOPED REMARKABLY QUICKLY AND MARKED HIM OUT AS A STAR OF THE FUTURE. ALBION SIGNED THE EXCITING WINGER MARCH 1977 AND MADE HIS DEBUT AGAINST TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 12TH MARCH 1977 ALONG WITH TONY GODDEN HELPING OUT IN A 2-0 VICTORY AT WHITE HART LANE.

 

LAURIE WAS VALUED AT £110,000 IN HIS MOVE TO THE HAWTHORNS WHICH ALSO SAW JOE MAYO MOVE IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION (SORRY ORIENT!). LAURIE ONLY MADE THE SUBS BENCH FOR THE SEMI FINAL AGAINST IPSWICH IN 1978 AND WAS POWERLESS TO PREVENT A 3-1 DEFEAT, EMERGING ONLY WHEN CENTRE HALF AND CAPTAIN JOHN WILE FINALLY SUBMITTED TO A GAPING HEAD WOUND SUSTAINED IN A NASTY CLASH WHICH SAW BRIAN TALBOT OPEN THE SCORING AND LEAVE THE FIELD BLOODY AND CONCUSSED.

LAURIE SCORED IN BOTH LEGS AGAINST GALATASARAY AND WAS AT HIS VERY BEST IN BOTH LEGS OF THE TIE WITH VALENCIA, SCORING IN THE 1-1 DRAW IN SPAIN BEFORE TORTURING THE SPANISH DEFENCE AT THE HAWTHORNS (SEE FILM CLIP )

 

IT WAS DOUBTLESS THESE TWO PERFORMANCES, AND PERHAPS HIS PART IN THE CLUBS’ FAMOUS 5-3 WIN AT OLD TRAFFORD AGAINST MANCHESTER UNITED (SEE FILM CLIP IN 1970S) , WHICH DID MOST TO CONVINCE REAL MADRID TO SPEND £995,000 IN THE SUMMER OF 1979 TO TAKE CUNNINGHAM TO THE BERNEBEU.

HIS FINAL GAME FOR THE ALBION 14TH MAY 1979 AGAINST IRONICALLY TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR AT WHITE HART LANE THIS TIME IN A 1-0 DEFEAT. LAURIE CUNNINGHAM UNFORTUNATELY LOST HIS LIFE IN A CAR CRASH IN SPAIN IN 1989. HE PLAYED 86 LEAGUE GAMES FOR ALBION 5 AS A SUBSTITUTE SCORING 21 TIMES 10 GAMES IN THE FA INCLUDING 3 AS A SUBSTITUTE SCORING 3 GOALS 6 GAMES IN THE LEAGUE CUP, PLUS 12 0THER GAMES INCLUDING UEFA CUP MATCHES.

 


 

 

JIMMY EDWARDS

 

 

 

JIMMY EDWARDS WAS BORN IN TIPTON. HE JOINED WEST BROMWICH ALBION FOR A £350 FEE IN MAY 1926 AND MADE HIS LEAGUE DEBUT FOR THE CLUB IN MARCH 1928 AGAINST HULL CITY. IN MAY 1937 HE MOVED TO NORWICH CITY FOR £750. HE DIED IN WEST BROMWICH IN APRIL 1982

 

 


 

 RAY FAIRFAX

 

 

 

RAY WAS BORN IN SMETHWICK NOVEMBER 1941. HE ATTENDED CORBETT STREET JUNIOR SCHOOL AND JAMES WATT TECHNICAL SCHOOL IN SMETHWICK. HE REPRESENTED SMETHWICK AND BIRMINGHAM BOYS, STAFFS COUNTY FA AND STAFFORDSHIRE BOYS. HE JOINED ALBION MAY 1959 TURNING PROFESSIONAL AUGUST 1959. HOWEVER IT WASN’T UNTIL 20TH MARCH 1963 THAT HE MADE HISDEBUT IN THE FIRST TEAM AWAY AT ANFIELD IN FRONT OF A 43,987 CROWD IN A 2-2 DRAW THE FIRST OF 7 APPEARANCES THAT SEASON. THE 1963-64 SEASON RAY ONLY MADE 1 APPEARANCE AT HOME IN A 4-3 VICTORY OVER ASTON VILLA 1964-65 HE MADE 6 APPEARANCES HE WAS A FIERCE TACKLING FULLBACK SOLID AND STRONG UNFORTUNATELY FOR HIM ALBION HAD SOME VERY GOOD FULLBACKS IN THE SQUAD AND IT WAS ALWAYS GOING TO BE DIFFICULT TO ESTABLISH HIMSELF IN THE TEAM. HOWEVER BY THE 1965 – 66 SEASON HE BEGAN TO MAKE MORE APPEARANCES IN THE FIRST BEFORE ESTABLISHING HIMSELF A REGULAR IN THE FIRST TEAM.

IN TOTAL RAY MADE 90 APPEARANCES PLUS 2 AS A SUBSTITUTE SCORING 1 GOAL IN A EUROPEAN FAIRS CUP 3RD RD 2ND LEG MATCH AGAINST BOLOGNA, MARCH 8TH 1967. ALBION LOST THE MATCH 3-1.

HE PLAYED IN THE LEAGUE CUP FINAL AGAINST WEST HAM UNITED WERE HE COLLECTED A WINNERS TANKARD.

HIS FINAL GAME IN AN ALBION SHIRT WAS AWAY AT SUNDERLAND IN A 0-0 DRAW WHEN HE DEPUTISED FOR AN INJURED GRAHAM WILLIAMS AND IF WILLIAMS HAD NOT RECOVERED IN TIME HE WOULD HAVE PLAYED IN 1968 FA CUP FINAL. ON LEAVING ALBION HE JOINED NORTHAMPTON TOWN WHERE HE MADE 116 APPEARANCES, AFTER LEAVING NORTHAMPTON HE JOINED WELLINGBOROUGH, OLNEY TOWN, WBA ALL STARS BEFORE RETIRING FROM FOOTBALL IN 1979 HE WORKED AT THE ALBION IN 1974 AS COMMERCIAL ASSISTANT AND ASSISTANT SECRETARY BEFORE JOINING PORT VALE AS CLUB SECRETARY AND ALSO WORKED FOR ASTON VILLAS TICKET OFFICE.

 

 


 

BOBBY HOPE

Bobby Hope

 

ROBERT “BOBBY” HOPE (BORN SEPTEMBER 28, 1943 IN BRIDGE OF ALLAN, SCOTLAND) MADE MORE THAN 400 APPEARANCES AS A MIDFIELDER IN THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE. HE PLAYED MORE THAN 300 LEAGUE GAMES FOR WEST BROMWICH ALBION WHERE HE SPENT MOST OF HIS CLUB CAREER. HE WON TWO CAPS FOR SCOTLAND.

HOPE PLAYED FOR WEST BROM BETWEEN 1959 AND 1972. A CULTURED, SCHEMING INSIDE-FORWARD, HE WAS THE GENERAL IN THE TEAM’S MIDFIELD THROUGHOUT THE 1960S. TOGETHER WITH CLIVE CLARK ON THE WING, HOPE PROVIDED THE AMMUNITION FOR PLAYERS LIKE TONY BROWN AND JEFF ASTLE. HOPE ENJOYED SUCCESS DURING THIS PERIOD, WINNING THE LEAGUE CUP IN 1966 AND FA CUP IN 1968. HE SCORED ALBION’S FIRST GOAL IN EUROPEAN COMPETITION WHEN HE FOUND THE NET AGAINST DOS UTRECHT IN THE INTER-CITIES FAIRS CUP ON 2 NOVEMBER 1966. HE MOVED TO BIRMINGHAM CITY IN 1972, SPENDING TIME ON LOAN IN THE NASL WITH PHILADELPHIA ATOMS AND DALLAS TORNADO, AND LATER PLAYED FOR SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY AND BROMSGROVE ROVERS. HE WENT ON TO MANAGE BROMSGROVE AND BURTON ALBION. HE RETURNED TO WEST BROM AS A SCOUT IN LATER YEARS.

HOPE WON ONLY TWO FULL CAPS FOR SCOTLAND, PERHAPS DUE TO THE ABUNDANCE OF SCOTTISH MIDFIELD TALENT IN THIS PERIOD. SINCE 2000 HE HAS BEEN WEST BROMWICH ALBION’S CHIEF SCOUT.

MADE HIS LEAGUE DEBUT AT HOME IN THE LAST MATCH OF THE SEASON AGAINST ARSENAL

 

 


 

JOE KENNEDY

JOE KENNEDY REMAINS ONE OF THE GREATEST UNCAPPED PLAYERS TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH ALBION.

HE STARTED HIS CAREER AT CLEATOR MOOR CELTIC – A LONG-ESTABLISHED AMATEUR SIDE WHO MOST RECENTLY DEVELOPED SCOTT CARSON – BEFORE MOVING TO WORKINGTON TOWN, BRENTFORD, MILLWALL AND ALTRINCHAM.

KENNEDY, WHO MOVED TO THE HAWTHORNS IN DECEMBER 1948 MAKING HIS DEBUT 9TH APRIL 1949 AGAINST LUTON TOWN, KENNEDY BEGAN HIS SPELL AT ALBION AS AN INSIDE-FORWARD,

AFTER BEING CONVERTED TO A RIGHT-HALF, KENNEDY FINALLY SETTLED IN THE CENTRE OF DEFENCE AS THE PERFECT FOIL FOR RAY BARLOW, WEARING THE NO.5 SHIRT WITH DISTINCTION THROUGHOUT THE 1950S AND FILLING IN AT RIGHT-BACK FOR THE INJURED STAN RICKABY IN THE 1954 FA CUP FINAL. HE STARTED THE MOVE IN THE 1954 CUP FINAL WHICH LED TO FRANK GRIFFINS 87TH MINUTE GOAL. FIVE YEARS EARLIER HE HELPED ALBION GAIN PROMOTION FROM THE SECOND DIVISION SCORING ONE OF THE GOALS IN THE 3-0 WIN OVER LEICESTER WHICH CLINCHED ALBION’S RETURN TO THE TOP FLIGHT.

 


 DEREK KEVAN

AKA THE TANK

 

 

 

 BORN RIPON MARCH 1935

PASSED AWAY JANUARY 2013

JOINED ALBION FROM BRADFORD FOR £3000 JULY 1953, LEFT IN MARCH 1963 TO JOIN CHELSEA MADE HIS ALBION DEBUT V EVERTON AT HOME 24TH AUGUST 1955 SCORING TWICE IN A 2 -0 WIN. KNOWN FOR HIS PURE STRENGTH AND PHYSICAL PRESENCE. STANDING 6FT TALL AND WEIGHING IN AT 13 STONE, DEFENDERS KNEW THEY HAD BEEN IN A MATCH WITH DEREK. AFFECTIONATELY KNOWN BY HIS FANS AS THE TANK. HE COULD HEAD A BALL AS HARD AS SOME PLAYERS COULD KICK IT. AND POSSESSED A FIERCE SHOT IN HIS RIGHT FOOT AND A GOOD ONE IN HIS LEFT TOO. DEREK WON 14 CAPS FOR ENGLAND SCORING EIGHT TIMES. IN TEN YEARS AT THE ALBION HE SCORED 173 GOALS IN 291 LEAGUE AND CUP APPEARANCES INCLUDING FIVE AGAINST EVERTON AT HOME 1960.

AFTER LEAVING ALBION HE WON A FOURTH DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP MEDAL WITH STOCKPORT COUNTY IN 1967, HE ALSO CREATED A NEW POST SCORING RECORD FOR MANCHESTER CITY IN 1963  – 64 SEASON WITH 30 LEAGUE GOALS.

IN HIS LEAGUE CAREER HE SCORED 235 GOALS IN 440 GAMES.

 

 

 

ALBION 6 EVERTON 2,  DEREK KEVAN 5

 


FRED LEDAM

FREDRICK WAS BORN IN LYE NEAR STOURBRIDGE FEBRUARY 1909 HE ONLY MADE FOUR FIRST TEAM APPEARANCES FOR THE ALBION’S FIRST TEAM.
HE WAS 5 FT 8 WEIGHING 11ST 5LBS
FRED WAS A FAST WINGER HIS FAVOURED POSITION BEING OUTSIDE RIGHT ALTHOUGH HE MADE ONE APPEARANCE AT OUTSIDE LEFT AGAINST THE WOLVES. HE BEGAN HIS CARRIER AT LYE CROSS AND CRADLEY HEATH SCHOOLS, BEFORE BEING SPOTTED BY KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS IN 1925.
IN 1926 HE SIGNED FOR ALBION AS AN AMATEUR BEFORE TURNING PROFESSIONAL IN 1928. HE STAYED AT THE ALBION UNTIL MAY 1929 WHEN DUE TO THE LACK OF FIRST TEAM FOOTBALL HE RETURNED FOR A SECOND SPELL TO NON LEAGUE FOOTBALL WITH KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS.
IN AUGUST 1931 HE JOINED SECOND DIVISION BRADFORD PARK AVENUE MAKING 49 APPEARANCES SCORING SIX TIMES, REMAIN WITH THEM UNTIL JULY 1933 MOVING ON TO ACCRINGTON STANLEY MAKING 51 APPEARANCE SCORING 9 TIMES .
ANOTHER TRANSFER TO OLDHAM ATHLETIC IN FEBRUARY 1935 48 APPEARANCES AND 11 GOALS WHERE HE FINISHED HIS LEAGUE CAREER IN JUNE 1937 HE DID HOWEVER CARRY PLAYING NON LEAGUE FOOTBALL UP UNTIL 1939.
HE WAS RESERVE TO TOMMY GLIDDEN WHICH EXPLAINS THE LACK OF OPPORTUNITY FOR MANY FIRST TEAM PLACE WITH GLIDDEN NOT ONLY BEING ONE OF ALBION’S MAINSTAYS BUT ALSO TEAM CAPTAIN IN THE 1920S AND 30S NOT MANY PLAYERS AT ANY CLUB MOVED THE CAPTAINS FROM THE TEAM.
HIS FOUR GAMES FOR ALBION
READING AWAY DIV 2 17-11-1928 ATT 10,715 LOST 5 -3
OLDHAM ATHLETIC HOME DIV 2 08-12-1928 ATT 6,994 WON 1-0
SOUTHAMPTON AWAY DIV 2 15-12-1928 ATT 13,530 DRAW 1-1
WOLVES AWAY DIV 2 23-03-1928 ATT 21,000 WON 1-0

 


 

ALAN MERRICK

 

 

ALAN WAS BORN IN SELL OAK BIRMINGHAM 20TH JUNE 1950 HE JOINED ALBION STRAIGHT FROM COLESHILL GRAMMAR SCHOOL IN 1966 PLAYING IN THE YOUTH TEAM AND RESERVES UNTIL 1968 WHEN HE WON THREE ENGLAND YOUTH CAPS  ALSO  IN 1968 HE MADE HIS FIRST TEAM DEBUT IN A 2-1 DEFEAT AWAY AT  PETERBOROUGH UNITED LEAGUE CUP RD. 3, 25-9-1968. HE WAS A LOYAL CLUB SERVANT WHO SHOWED TOUGHNESS, STAMINA AND DETER­MINATION IN MANY DEFENSIVE POSITIONS FOR ALBION, RANGING FROM FULL­BACK, TO WING-HALF, TO DUAL-CENTRE-HALF TO MIDFIELD ANCHORMAN HE ALWAYS GAVE ONE HUNDRED PER-CENT EFFORTS.

HIS LEAGUE DEBUT WAS AGAINST WOLVES IN A 0 – 0 DRAW 21ST OCTOBER 1968 AS A SUBSTITUTE REPLACING RICHARD KRZYWICKI

 

 

ALAN MADE FOUR FURTHER APPEARANCES THAT SEASON AGAINST SUNDERLAND, BURNLEY AND NOTTINGHAM FOREST COVERING FOR JOHN KAYE AND DOUGIE FRASER

ALAN MADE 156 APPEARANCES PLUS 13 AS SUBSTITUTE SCORING 5 GOALS FOR THE CLUB THE FIRST OF WHICH CAME AGAINST SWINDON TOWN IN A 2-0 VICTORY 29THDECEMBER 1973

 

 

 

TOWARDS THE END OF HIS CARRIER WITH ALBION HE WENT ON LOAN TO PETERBOROUGH UNITED AND KETTERING. HIS FINAL APPEARANCE IN AN ALBION SHIRT CAME AGAINST SOUTHAMPTON AWAY AUGUST 16TH 1975

AFTER LEAVING THE ALBION WHO HE HAD BEEN WITH OVER TEN YEARS HE JOINED MINNESOTA KICKS MAKING A BIG IMPRESSION IN THE NASL, SERVING NO FEWER THAN SIX DIFFERENT CLUBS AS A PLAYER BEFORE VENTURING INTO THE COACHING SIDE OF THE GAME. HE TOTTED UP WELL OVER 250 APPEARANCES IN THE NASL AND OVER 170 IN ENGLAND.

DESPITE HIS LONG SERVICE HE WAS NEVER GRANTED A TESTIMONIAL MATCH

 

 

 


 JOHN OSBOURNE

 

  

 

JOHN OSBORNE (1 DECEMBER 1940 – 7 NOVEMBER 1998) WAS AN OUTSTANDING GOALKEEPER. HE PLAYED FOR CHESTERFIELD, WEST BROMWICH ALBION AND SHAMROCK ROVERS. OSBORNE WAS A MEMBER OF ALBION’S WINNING TEAM IN THE 1968 FA CUP FINAL. HE MADE HIS ROVERS DEBUT AT MILLTOWN UNDER HIS OLD TEAM MATE JOHN GILES ON THE 10 SEPTEMBER 1978. HE PLAYED 3 GAMES IN THE UEFA CUP WINNERS’ CUP KEEPING 2 CLEAN SHEETS GIVING HIM A TOTAL OF 4 APPEARANCES FOR THE HOOPS. IN 2004 HE WAS NAMED AS ONE OF WEST BROMWICH ALBION’S 16 GREATEST PLAYERS, IN A POLL ORGANISED AS PART OF THE CLUB’S 125TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS.OSBORNE WAS THE COMMERCIAL MANAGER OF WORCESTERSHIRE COUNTY CRICKET CLUB FROM 1986 TO 1995, AND PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT PART IN THE COUNTY’S SIGNING OF LONG-TIME MAJOR SPONSOR MEB.

NOT ONLY A BRILLIANT KEEPER BUT A MASTER OF QUIZZES WHEN HE LED THE ALBION AS THE WINNING TEAM OF BBC QUIZ BALL NICKNAMED THE ‘BIONIC’ GOALKEEPER – AFTER HAVING A STRIP OF PLASTIC INSERTED INTO HIS ARTHRITIC FINGER TO CREATE AN EXTRA JOINT – OSBORNE SERVED ALBION WITH DISTINCTION OVER TWO SEPARATE SPELLS. DESPITE WINNING TWO SCHOOLBOY CAPS AS A DEFENDER, OSBORNE SETTLED ON LIFE BETWEEN THE STICKS, COMING THROUGH THE SAME CHESTERFIELD GOALKEEPING ACADEMY AS GORDON BANKS. ‘OSSIE’, AS HE WAS KNOWN TO HIS TEAM-MATES, HAD A SAFE PAIR OF HANDS AND WAS NOTED FOR GOOD POSITIONING AND COMMAND OF HIS AREA. HE WAS ARGUABLY THE CLUB’S BEST POST-WAR GOALKEEPER AND CERTAINLY ONE OF THE BEST KEEPERS IN THE COUNTRY AT THE TIME – DESPITE ONE OF HIS REGULAR PRE-MATCH ROUTINES INVOLVING BINDING TWO OF HIS FINGERS TOGETHER. JOHNY GILES SAID OF HIM: “BEFORE EVERY GAME I WOULD ASK OSSIE HOW HE WAS FEELING. NINE TIMES OUT OF 10, HE WOULD REPLY: ‘LOUSY, TERRIBLE, TIRED, ACHING OR FED UP’. I KNEW THEN THAT THINGS WERE GOING TO BE OKAY AND WE’D BE FINE.”

OSBORNE SIGNED JUST BEFORE ALBION’S LEAGUE CUP FINAL OF 1967 BUT WAS ALREADY CUP-TIED. HE WAS AN FA CUP WINNER THE FOLLOWING YEAR AND A LEAGUE CUP FINALIST IN 1970. AMAZINGLY, HE RETIRED IN 1972 AFTER GROWING DISILLUSIONED WITH THE DON HOWE REGIME, ONLY TO RETURN SIX MONTHS LATER FOLLOWING A LOAN SPELL AT WALSALL. HE WENT ON TO KEEP A THEN-RECORD 22 CLEAN SHEETS DURING THE 1975-76 PROMOTION CAMPAIGN BEFORE LOSING HIS PLACE TO TONY GODDEN TWO YEARS LATER FOLLOWING A BRIEF STINT WITH SHAMROCK ROVERS. HE WAS THE FIRST ALBION KEEPER TO BE GRANTED A TESTIMONIAL AFTER A TOTAL OF 312 APPEARANCES FOR ALBION. A HUGE CRICKET FAN, OSBORNE BECAME COMMERCIAL MANAGER AT WORCESTERSHIRE CCC IN LATER LIFE. SADLY, ‘OSSIE’ DIED OF CANCER IN DECEMBER 1998, AGED JUST 58

JOHN OSBOURNE, ALAN ASHAMAN, RAY WILSON, JEFF SMITH TAKE PART IN BBC’S QUIZ BALL

 

 

 

 


 

 

 JOHN PADDOCK

John Paddock

 

JOHN PADDOCK BORN WEST BROMWICH 1877 DIED 1965

MADE 20 APPEARANCE’S LEAGUE FOR ALBION MAKING HIS DEBUT AGAINST AT HOME AGAINST NEWCASTLE UNITED 2ND SEPT 1899. HIS ONLY GOAL FOR THE ALBION WAS AGAINST EVERTON IN A 3-1 VICTORY AT GOODISON PARK 11TH DECEMBER 1899 ALTHOUGH SOME RECORD BOOKS SAY HE SCORED 5 GOALS THAT SEASON AND OTHERS SAY 3 GOALS THE ONLY RECORD I HAVE IS THE ONE AGAINST EVERTON JOHN RETURNED BREIFLY TO THE ALBION AS ASSISTANT TRAINER IN 1914. SON OF ALBION TRAINER JACK “JOHN” PADDOCK WHO APPEARS RUNNING ON THE PITCH AT STONEY LANE FILM CLIP. JACK “JOHN” PADDOCK WAS THE ALBION’S SECOND EVER TRAINER TAKING OVER FROM JOE LAW WHO LEFT FOR BURMLEY IN 1888 HELPING THEM WIN THE FA CUP THAT YEAR. THE ROLE OF TRAINER IN THOSE YEARS WAS THE SAME RESPONSIBILITY AS THE MANAGER TODAY AND JACK PADDOCK WAS THE FIRST SOLE TRAINER OF THE ALBION AS JOE LAW HAD ASSITANCE FROM BILLY NICHOLLS.  JACK ” JOHN PADDOCK ALSO TRAINER AN ENGLISH LEAGUE SIDE V IRISH LEAGUE SIDE 1896-97. DIED CIRCA 1928 BELEVED TO BE IN IOWA USA

JOHN “JACK” PADDOCK

 

Jack Paddock

 

 

 


 

 JESSE PENNINGTON

(23RD AUGUST 1883 – 5TH SEPTEMBER 1970)

 JESSE PENNINGTON WAS CAPTAIN OF THE ALBION IN THE EARLY PART OF THE 20TH CENTURY. HE WAS NICKNAMED “PEERLESS PENNINGTON”.BORN IN WEST BROMWICH, PENNINGTON WAS A LEFT-BACK FOR WEST BROMWICH ALBION FOR 19 YEARS, FROM MARCH 1903 TO MAY 1922                                                                                                                                                           ALTHOUGH HIS CAREER WAS INTERRUPTED BY WORLD WAR I, PENNINGTON MADE 455 LEAGUE APPEARANCES FOR THE CLUB, CAPTAINING THEM TO THE LEAGUE TITLE IN 1919-1920. HE HAD ALSO BEEN A PART OF THE TEAM PROMOTED FROM THE SECOND DIVISION IN 1911 AND HAD RECEIVED AN FA CUP RUNNERS-UP MEDAL IN 1912.ON THE INTERNATIONAL FRONT, PENNINGTON EARNED 25 CAPS FOR ENGLAND BETWEEN 18 MARCH 1907 AND 10 APRIL 1920, CAPTAINING THE SIDE ON ONE OCCASION.AFTER RETIRING, HE WORKED AS A SCOUT FOR WEST BROMWICH ALBION FROM 1950 TO 1960 AND WAS MADE A LIFE MEMBER OF THE CLUB IN 1969, A YEAR BEFORE HE DIED IN KIDDERMINSTER. PENNINGTON WAS NAMED AS ONE OF WEST BROMWICH ALBION’S 16 GREATEST PLAYERS IN A POLL ORGANISED AS PART OF THE CLUB’S 125TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS IN 2004.

                                                        THE BIOLETTI SCANDAL  1913,

PENNINGTON WAS APPROACHED BY PASCOE BIOLETTI WHO OFFERED £5 PER PLAYER FOR ALBION CORRUPTLY TO ENDEAVOUR NOT TO WIN THEIR FORTHCOMING GAME AGAINST EVERTON F.C. ON 29TH NOVEMBER. PASCOE’S SON, WILLIAM ALFRED BIOLETTI, WAS OPERATOR OF A FOOTBALL BETTING BUSINESS IN GENEVA.PENNINGTON ALERTED THE POLICE AND AFTER THE GAME, WHICH ENDED IN A DRAW, HE MET BIOLETTI, OSTENSIBLY FOR THE PAY-OFF, AT WHICH POINT THE POLICE MOVED IN TO ARREST BIOLETTI. BIOLETTI WAS SENTENCED TO 5 MONTHS’ IMPRISONMENT IN 1914.

 


 

 BOB ROBERTS

 “THE STROLLERS” FIRST LEAGUE GOAL KEEPER

 

Bob Roberts

 

BOB ROBERTS WAS WBA’S STAR PLAYER IN THESE EARLY YEARS. STANDING 6FT 4IN IN HEIGHT AND WEIGHING 13 STONE AND SIZE 13 FEET ROBERTS COULD DEAL COMFORTABLY WITH ANY PLAYER WHO DARED TRY TO PUSH HIM ASIDE.HE WAS TRIALLED IN EVERY POSITION AS AN OUTFIELD PLAYER BUT THEN FOUND HIS NICHE IN BETWEEN THE POSTS. HE WAS THE FIRST ALBION PLAYER TO BE CAPS BY ENGLAND WINNING HIS FIRST AGAINST SCOTLAND IN 1886. ALSO PLAYED IN THREE SUCCESSIVE CUP FINALS 1886, 1887, 1888, FINALLY COLLECTING A WINNERS MEDAL IN 1888. HE HAD TWO SPELL AT THE ALBION THE SECOND FOR JUST ONE SEASON. IT IS THOUGHT THAT HE MADE AROUND 400 APPEARANCES INCLUDING 84 IN LEAGUE AND CUP.

A LOCAL NEWSPAPER COMMENTED: “THERE IS NO PLAYER WHO HAS DONE MORE TO MAKE THE ALBION THE CLUB WHAT IT IS THAN BOB ROBERTS. IT IS NOT ONLY HIS CLEVERNESS BETWEEN THE UPRIGHTS, BUT THE COOLNESS AND DIRECTION OF OTHERS.”

 


 

 

 

BOBBY ROBSON

BORN FEBRUARY 18 1933, IN LANGLEY PARK, COUNTY DURHAM.

CAREER WATERHOUSES SECONDARY MODERN SCHOOL, LANGLEY PARK JUNIORS, CHESTER LE STREET, MIDDLEBOROUGH, SOUTHAMPTON (TRIAL) FULHAM, 1950   MAKES 152 APPEARANCES, SCORING 68 GOALS 1956 MOVES TO WEST BROM (£25,000), SCORES 56 GOALS IN 239 GAMES. MADE HIS DEBUT AGAINST MANCHESTER CITY MARCH 10TH 1956 IN A 4 – 0 DEFEAT SCORES FIRST OF 56 GOAL FOR ALBION IN A 3 – 1 VICTORY OVER CARDIFF CITY MARCH 31ST 1956 MADE HIS LAST APPEARANCE FOR ALBION AT HOME 28THAPRIL 1962SCORING IN A 7 -1 VICTORY OVER BLACKPOOL, RE JOINED FULHAM (£20,000) OXFORD UNIVERSITY (TRAINER – COACH) VANCOUVER ROYALS (PLAYER – MANAGER), FULHAM (MANAGER) CHELSEA (SCOUT) IPSWICH TOWN (MANAGER 1969 -1982) ENGLAND MANAGER 1982 – 1990 WORLD CUP QUARTER-FINALS, LOSING TO ARGENTINA 2-1, THANKS TO DIEGO MARANON’S ‘HAND OF GOD’ OPENING GOAL. ENGLAND REACH 1990 FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION REVEAL ROBSON’S CONTRACT AS ENGLAND MANAGER IS UNLIKELY TO BE RENEWED EVEN IF HE WINS WORLD CUP. ROBSON ANNOUNCES HE WILL BE TAKING OVER AT PSV EINDHOVEN AFTER TOURNAMENT. ENGLAND BEATEN ON PENALTIES IN WORLD CUP SEMI-FINAL BY WEST GERMANY. PSV EINDHOVEN MANAGER (1990 -92) WINS DUTCH LEAGUE WITH PSV  BEFORE TAKING OVER AS MANAGER OF SPORTING LISBON APPOINTED MANAGER OF FC PORTO, WITH WHOM HE WINS PORTUGUESE CUP GUIDES PORTO TO PORTUGUESE LEAGUE TITLE IN 1999 APPOINTED MANAGER OF NEWCASTLE UNITED.

 FEBRUARY 18TH 2000 AGREES A NEW 12-MONTH ROLLING CONTRACT WITH NEWCASTLE ON HIS 67TH BIRTHDAY LATER THAT YEAR RULES HIMSELF OUT OF THE RUNNING TO TAKE ON THE ENGLAND JOB FOR A SECOND TIME. IN 2002 LEADS NEWCASTLE UNITED TO FOURTH PLACE IN THE PREMIERSHIP TO PUT THEM INTO THE QUALIFYING STAGES OF THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE. JUNE 15TH 2002 KNIGHTED IN QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY HONOURS.

AUGUST 5TH 2006 TREATED IN HOSPITAL AFTER BEING TAKEN ILL DURING THE FIRST HALF OF IPSWICH’S CLASH WITH CRYSTAL PALACE, AT WHICH HE HAD BEEN NAMED HONORARY CLUB PRESIDENT.15 DAYS LATER ANNOUNCES HE NEEDS OPERATION TO REMOVE A SMALL BRAIN TUMOUR.

2007 VOWS TO “BATTLE AS I’VE ALWAYS DONE” FOLLOWING THE START OF CHEMOTHERAPY TREATMENT AFTER BEING DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER FOR THE FIFTH TIME. NOVEMBER INDICATES HIS HEALTH MAY MEAN HE HAS TO RETIRE.

2008 EMBARKS UPON A CAMPAIGN TO RAISE £1MILLION TO FUND A CANCER TRIAL RESEARCH CENTRE AT NEWCASTLE’S FREEMAN HOSPITAL. ADMITS HE WILL LOSE HIS LONG BATTLE AGAINST CANCER “SOONER RATHER THAN LATER”.

DECEMBER 8 2008 GRANTED THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY OF DURHAM.

JULY 26TH 2009 ATTENDS ST JAMES’ PARK FOR ENGLAND V GERMANY CLASH IN A WHEELCHAIR AND IS GIVEN A GUARD OF HONOUR. ALSO PRESENTED WITH THE EMERALD UEFA ORDER OF MERIT AWARD.

JULY 31 STY SIR BOBBY ROBSON DIES AT HOME AT THE AGE OF 76

 A MAN WHO WAS MORE PASSIONATE ABOUT THE GAME THAN ANYONE COULD OR EVER WILL BE.

R.I.P SIR BOBBY ROBSON


 

PADDY RYAN

POPULAR IRISH DUAL INTERNATIONAL INSIDE-FORWARD PADDY RYAN WAS CAPPED 16 TIMES WHILE AT THE HAWTHORNS. REAL NAME REG, HE WAS A WAR-TIME GUEST FOR COVENTRY CITY AND JOINED WEST BROM AS A WING-HALF FROM NUNEATON BOROUGH IN APRIL 1945. GIVEN HIS LEAGUE DEBUT AT CHESTERFIELD IN SEPTEMBER 1947, HE HELPED TO WIN PROMOTION IN 1948/49 AND THE FA CUP IN 1954  NETTING 28 GOALS IN 234 LEAGUE GAMES PRIOR TO JOINING DERBY COUN­TY FOR £3,000 IN JULY 1955. HE SKIP­PERED THEIR 1956/57 PROMOTION SUC­CESS, REPEATING THE FEAT WITH COVEN­TRY CITY IN 1958/59 WHERE HE BECAME POOLS ORGANISER. HE RETURNED TO ALBION IN A SIMILAR CAPACITY IN DECEMBER 1961, THEN WAS CHIEF SCOUT FOR 14 YEARS UNTIL OCTOBER 1976 AND HAS SINCE SCOUTED FOR HEREFORD UNITED, LEEDS UNITED AND NOW ASTON VILLA.

 


JACK SANKEY

 

TIRELESS WING-HALF JACK SANKEY GAVE ALBION FINE SERVICE IN VARIOUS CAPACITIES. HE FOLLOWED STAN WOOD TO WEST BROM FROM WINSFORD UNITED IN NOVEMBER 1930 AND HELPED THE RESERVES TO WIN THREE SUCCESSIVE CEN­TRAL LEAGUE TITLES, MAKING HIS FIRST-TEAM DEBUT AT CHELSEA IN THE FA CUP THIRD ROUND IN 1933/34. PLAYED IN THE 1937 FA CUP SEMI-FINAL, NET­TING FIVE GOALS IN 144 LEAGUE OUTINGS (27 IN 290 GAMES OVERALL) PRIOR TO JOINING NORTHAMPTON TOWN IN OCTO­BER 1945. SUBSEQUENTLY AT HEREFORD UNITED UNDER PLAYER-BOSS GEORGE TRANTER, HE BECAME ASSISTANT-TRAINER AND HAD A BENEFIT MATCH AGAINST ALBION BEFORE RETURNING TO THE HAWTHORNS AS COACH FOR NINE YEARS IN JUNE 1955. HE LATER SCOUTED FOR WEST BROM, REMAINING LOCAL UNTIL HIS DEATH IN JANUARY 1985.

 

 


 

MAURICE SETTERS

FEARLESS WING-HALF MAURICE SETTERS GAINED ENGLAND U-23 RECOGNITION WHILE AT WEST BROM. A FORMER SCHOOLBOY AND YOUTH INTERNATIONAL, HE IMPRESSED WITH EXETER CITY BEFORE VIC BUCKINGHAM PAID £3,000 FOR HIM IN JANUARY 1955. HE SCORED TEN GOALS IN 120 FIRST DIVISION OUT­INGS PRIOR TO JOINING MANCHESTER UNITED FOR £30,000 IN JANUARY 1960 AND HELPED TO WIN THE FA CUP IN 1963 ALONGSIDE JOHNNY GILES. SOLD TO STOKE CITY FOR £30,000 IN NOVEMBER 1964, HE JOINED NOEL CANTWELL’S COVENTRY CITY FOR £25,000 THREE YEARS LATER AND CHARLTON ATHLETIC IN JANUARY 1970. APPOINTED DONCASTER ROVERS MANAGER IN MAY 1971, HE WAS UNFAIRLY DISMISSED IN NOVEMBER 1974 AND HAS SINCE ASSISTED JACK CHARLTON AT SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY,  NEWCASTLE UNITED AND THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND.


 

GEORGE SHAW

ENGLAND RIGHT-BACK GEORGE SHAW WAS EVER-PRESENT IN WEST BROM’S 1930/31 PROMOTION & FA CUP ^DOU­BLE’ SUCCESS. INITIALLY WITH ROSSING-TON MAIN COLLIEN7, HE PLAYED FOR GILLINGHAM AND DONCASTER ROVERS PRIOR TO JOINING HUDDERSFIELD TOWN IN FEBRUARY 1924. HE FEATURED IN THREE SUCCESSIVE LEAGUE CHAMPI­ONSHIP WINS UNDER HERBERT CHAPMAN, MOVING TO ALBION FOR A RECORD £4,100 IN NOVEMBER 1926. CAPPED BY HIS COUNTRY AGAINST SCOTLAND INT APRIL 1932 (WITH HAROLD PEARSON), HE PLAYED IN THE 1935 FA CUP FINAL AND SCORED 11 GOALS IN 393 LEAGUE OUTINGS BEFORE JOINING STALYBRIDGECELTIC IN MAY 1938. LATER PLAYER-MANAGER OF WORCESTER CITY AND FLORIANA (MALTA), HE SUBSEQUENTLY RETURNED TO HAMWORTH COLLIERY AND RESIDED IN DONCASTER UNTIL HIS DEATH IN MARCH 1973.


 

CECIL SHAW

TOUGH-TACKLING LEFT-BACK CECIL SHAW WAS ONE OF SIX PLAYERS TO APPEAR IN THE SECOND DIVISION FOR ALBION EITHER SIDE OF WORLD WAR TWO. HE JOINED WOLVES FROM RUFFORD COLLIERY IN JULY 1929 AND BECAME THEIR SKIPPER AND PENALTY EXPERT, REPRESENTING THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE AND MAKING 126 CONSECUTIVE APPEARANCES PRIOR TO JOINING WEST BROM FOR A RECORD £7,500 IN DECEM­BER 1936. EVER-PRESENT FOR ALBION UNTIL THE OUTBREAK OF WAR, HE NETTED TEN GOALS IN 113 LEAGUE OUTINGS (14 IN 251 GAMES OVERALL) BEFORE JOINING HEREFORD UNITED WITH GEORGE TRAN­TER AND JIMMY DUGGAN IN JUNE 1947. HE SUBSEQUENTLY REFEREED LOCAL SOC­CER, THEN REJOINED WEST BROM AS A SCOUT IN THE EARLY 1960’S AND REMAINED LOCAL UNTIL HIS DEATH IN JANUARY 1977.


 

 

JIMMY SANDERS

SANDERS JOINED CHARLTON ATHLETIC FROM CRAY WANDERERS TOWARDS THE END OF WORLD WAR TWO BUT FOUND HIS PROGRESS HAMPERED BY BOTH THE OUTBREAK OF WORLD WAR II AND THE PRESENCE OF ADDICKS LEGEND SAM BARTRAM. HIS WAR SERVICE WAS SPENT WITH THE ROYAL AIR FORCE; HE INVALIDED OUT HAVING COMPLETED 120 OPERATIONS AS A GUNNER PILOT. DEPRIVED OF PLAYING TIME AT CHARLTON DUE TO THE PRESENCE OF BARTRAM, HE APPEARED AS A GUEST PLAYER FOR CHELSEA, LIVERPOOL, SOUTHAMPTON AND WEST HAM UNITED BEFORE GUESTING FOR ALBION, EARNING HIMSELF AS £2,250 MOVE. SANDERS ESTABLISHED HIMSELF AS NUMBER ONE AT THE CLUB UNTIL 1952 WHEN HE LOST OUT TO NORMAN HEATH, ALTHOUGH HE CONTINUED TO FEATURE INTERMITTENTLY UNTIL HIS DEPARTURE IN 1958. HE WENT ON TO APPEAR IN ALMOST 400 GAMES FOR ALBION HELPING TO SECURE PROMOTION IN 1949 AND WIN THE 1954 CUP FINAL FOLLOWING HIS RETIREMENT HE LEFT FOOTBALL TO PURSUE A CAREER IN THE PUB TRADE, ALTHOUGH HE WAS DISTINGUISHED BY USUALLY WEARING HIS 1954 FA CUP FINAL WINNERS MEDAL AROUND HIS NECK.

 

 


 

 TEDDY SANDFORD

EDWARD ALBERT “TEDDY” SANDFORD (22 OCTOBER 1910  MAY 1995) WAS AN INSIDE FORWARD. DURING HIS PROFESSIONAL CAREER HE REPRESENTED WEST BROMWICH ALBION AND SHEFFIELD UNITED. TEDDY SANDFORD WAS BORN IN HANDSWORTH, BIRMINGHAM. AS A YOUTH HE PLAYED FOOTBALL FOR TANTANY ATHLETIC, OVEREND WESLEY, BIRMINGHAM CARRIAGE WORKS F.C. AND SMETHWICK HIGHFIELD. IN OCTOBER 1929, WHILE STILL AN AMATEUR, HE JOINED AND PLAYED FOR 10 YEARS FOR WEST BROMWICH ALBION, THE CLUB THAT HIS UNCLE ABE JONES HAD REPRESENTED BETWEEN 1896 AND 1901. SANDFORD TURNED PROFESSIONAL IN MAY 1930 AND SCORED ON HIS SENIOR DEBUT IN NOVEMBER OF THE SAME YEAR WHEN ALBION BEAT PRESTON NORTH END 3-2 IN A DIVISION TWO MATCH. DURING HIS FIRST SEASON, HE WAS PART OF THE ALBION SIDE THAT WON PROMOTION TO THE FIRST DIVISION AND THAT ALSO BEAT BIRMINGHAM 2-1 IN THE 1931 FA CUP FINAL. IN NOVEMBER 1932 HE WON HIS ONLY ENGLAND CAP, IN A 0-0 DRAW WITH WALES AT WREXHAM. SANDFORD SCORED IN THE 1935 FA CUP FINAL, BUT WEST BROMWICH ALBION LOST THE MATCH 4-2 TO SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY. HE JOINED SHEFFIELD UNITED FOR £1500 IN 1939, BEFORE FINISHING HIS CAREER WITH MORRIS COMMERCIAL F.C., RETIRING IN MAY 1943. HE DIED IN GREAT BARR IN MAY 1995.

 

 


 

 

 BOB TAYLOR

ROBERT TAYLOR (BORN 3 FEBRUARY 1967 IN EASINGTON, COUNTY DURHAM), BETTER KNOWN AS BOB TAYLOR. KNOWN BY SUPPORTERS AS SUPER BOB, SUPERBOB OR SIMPLY SUPER,BOB SCORED MORE THAN 250 GOALS IN A PROFESSIONAL CAREER THAT COMPRISED ALMOST 750 GAMES IN 20 YEARS. HE IS WEST BROMWICH ALBION’S EIGHTH HIGHEST GOALSCORER OF ALL-TIME. BOB TAYLOR WAS PRIMARILY A GOAL-SCORING CENTRE-FORWARD. HIS GOALS WERE OFTEN UNSPECTACULAR, AND HE LACKED THE PACE NECESSARY TO CHASE LONG BALLS. INSTEAD HE RELIED HEAVILY ON HIS SENSE OF TIMING; OF BEING IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME. HE WAS ALSO ADEPT AT HOLDING THE BALL UP IN ORDER TO BRING OTHER PLAYERS INTO THE GAME. TAYLOR WAS “ALL EFFORT” AND DID NOT SHY AWAY FROM THE PHYSICAL SIDE OF FOOTBALL.

HE BEGAN HIS PROFESSIONAL CAREER AT LEEDS UNITED, MAKING HIS DEBUT IN 1986 AT THE AGE OF 19. IN 1989 HE MOVED TO BRISTOL CITY, BEFORE JOINING WEST BROMWICH ALBION IN 1992. TAYLOR SIGNED FOR BOLTON WANDERERS IN 1998 FOLLOWING TWO SUCCESSFUL LOANS SPELLS AT THE CLUB, BUT IN 2000 RETURNED TO WEST BROMWICH ALBION, WHERE HE REMAINED FOR A FURTHER THREE SEASONS. HE THEN MOVED TO CHELTENHAM TOWN BEFORE ENDING HIS CAREER AT NON-LEAGUE SIDES TAMWORTH AND KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS.

BOB TAYLOR, THE SON OF A MINER, WAS BORN IN LITTLETHORPE HOSPITAL IN EASINGTON, AND BROUGHT UP IN THE SMALL MINING COMMUNITY OF NEARBY HORDEN. HE ATTENDED DENE HOUSE SCHOOL IN PETERLEE, WHERE HE PROVED TO BE A USEFUL CRICKETER. HE WAS ALSO A SUCCESSFUL SCHOOLBOY FOOTBALLER AND CAPTAINED HIS SCHOOL TEAM; HE PLAYED INITIALLY AT FULL-BACK, BUT LATER BECAME A STRIKER, THE POSITION HE WOULD GO ON TO PLAY FOR HIS ENTIRE PROFESSIONAL CAREER. TAYLOR HAD UNSUCCESSFUL TRIALS AT BOTH HARTLEPOOL UNITED AND NEWCASTLE UNITED. AT THE AGE OF 17 HE JOINED HIS LOCAL NON-LEAGUE CLUB, HORDEN COLLIERY WELFARE. IN MARCH 1986, AFTER ONLY A FEW MONTHS THERE, TAYLOR TURNED PROFESSIONAL BY SIGNING FOR LEEDS UNITED, AT THAT TIME MANAGED BY BILLY BREMNER.

HE GRADUALLY WORKED HIS WAY INTO THE LEEDS FIRST TEAM, MAKING HIS PROFESSIONAL DEBUT AGAINST MILLWALL ON 12 APRIL 1986, AND WAS PART OF THE LEEDS SQUAD THAT LOST THE 1986-87 DIVISION ONE PLAYOFF FINAL, LOSING TO CHARLTON ATHLETIC IN A REPLAY. BY THE 1987-88 SEASON HE HAD BECOME A REGULAR IN THE SIDE. HOWEVER WHEN HOWARD WILKINSON SUCCEEDED BREMNER AS LEEDS MANAGER IN 1988, THE YOUNG CENTRE-FORWARD FOUND HIMSELF SURPLUS TO REQUIREMENTS. TAYLOR BELIEVED THAT THIS WAS BECAUSE WILKINSON WANTED IMMEDIATE SUCCESS, AND NEEDED TO BRING IN ESTABLISHED, EXPERIENCED PLAYERS IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THIS. IN MARCH 1989 TAYLOR MOVED TO BRISTOL CITY, WITH CARL SHUTT MOVING TO LEEDS AS PART OF THE DEAL. TAYLOR MADE AN INSTANT IMPACT AT HIS NEW CLUB, SCORING EIGHT GOALS IN 12 GAMES DURING THE REMAINDER OF THE SEASON. IN 1989-90, HIS FIRST FULL SEASON AT CITY, HE HELPED THE CLUB ACHIEVE PROMOTION TO DIVISION TWO. TAYLOR FINISHED AS DIVISION THREE LEADING GOALSCORER WITH 27 LEAGUE GOALS (34 IN TOTAL) AND WAS ALSO NAMED BRISTOL CITY PLAYER OF THE YEAR.

ALTHOUGH THE FOLLOWING SEASON PROVED TO BE LESS PROLIFIC FOR TAYLOR, HE NEVERTHELESS ATTRACTED THE ATTENTION OF WEST BROMWICH ALBION. IT WAS ALBION MANAGER BOBBY GOULD WHO BROUGHT HIM TO THE HAWTHORNS FOR A £300,000 FEE IN JANUARY 1992. TAYLOR WAS SEEN AS A REPLACEMENT FOR DON GOODMAN, WHO HAD BEEN SOLD TO SUNDERLAND EARLIER IN THE SEASON. TAYLOR SCORED ON HIS DEBUT AGAINST BRENTFORD IN A 2-0 HAWTHORNS WIN, AND ADDED ANOTHER TWO ON HIS AWAY DEBUT AS ALBION BEAT LOCAL RIVALS BIRMINGHAM CITY 3-0 AT ST. ANDREWS. INITIALLY NICKNAMED “TRIGGER” (DUE TO A PERCEIVED RESEMBLANCE TO THE CHARACTER IN THE TELEVISION COMEDY ONLY FOOLS AND HORSES), TAYLOR SOON BECAME KNOWN AS “SUPER BOB”, A MONIKER HE WAS FIRST GIVEN BY FANS OF BRISTOL CITY DURING HIS SPELL THERE, AND SCORED EIGHT TIMES IN 19 GAMES DURING THE SECOND HALF OF 1991-92.

DURING THE 1992-93 SEASON, TAYLOR CAPITALISED FULLY ON THE ATTACKING FOOTBALL ALBION PLAYED UNDER MANAGER OSSIE ARDILES, FINISHING AS DIVISION TWO’S TOP GOALSCORER WITH 30 LEAGUE GOALS, AND SCORING 37 IN ALL COMPETITIONS. THIS WAS DESPITE HAVING A SUCCESSION OF DIFFERENT STRIKE PARTNERS THROUGHOUT THE SEASON, INCLUDING SIMON GARNER, LUTHER BLISSETT, DAVID SPEEDIE AND EVEN MIDFIELDER GARY ROBSON.

HOWEVER WHEN ANDY HUNT ARRIVED AT ALBION IN MARCH 1993, HE AND TAYLOR QUICKLY FORGED A SUCCESSFUL STRIKING PARTNERSHIP THAT WOULD LAST SEVERAL SEASONS. HUNT AND TAYLOR WERE PART OF THE BAGGIES TEAM THAT BEAT PORT VALE AT WEMBLEY IN THE DIVISION TWO PLAYOFF FINAL, TO SECURE PROMOTION TO DIVISION ONE. IN THE SECOND HALF, WITH THE GAME STILL GOALLESS, TAYLOR WAS THROUGH ON GOAL WHEN HE WAS BROUGHT DOWN BY FORMER LEEDS TEAM-MATE PETER SWAN. SWAN’S SUBSEQUENT DISMISSAL PROVED TO BE THE TURNING POINT IN THE GAME, WITH HUNT SCORING THE FIRST GOAL IN A 3-0 VICTORY.

 

 

 

TAYLOR WAS THE CLUB’S TOP LEAGUE GOALSCORER ONCE AGAIN IN 1993-94, SCORING 18 GOALS. ALBION HOWEVER STRUGGLED IN DIVISION ONE AND ONLY AVOIDED RELEGATION ON THE LAST DAY OF THE SEASON. TAYLOR SCORED SEVERAL GOALS IN LOCAL DERBIES DURING HIS TIME AT ALBION, INCLUDING A DIVING HEADER AGAINST WOLVES TO SEAL A 2-0 WIN IN MARCH 1995; HE LATER DESCRIBED IT AS THE BEST GOAL OF HIS CAREER.

 

 

HIS ONLY HAT-TRICK FOR ALBION, IN A 4-4 DRAW AGAINST WATFORD ON 12 MARCH 1996, HELPED HIM TO FINISH AS ALBION’S TOP LEAGUE GOALSCORER FOR THE THIRD TIME, FINDING THE NET ON 17 OCCASIONS IN 1995-96. HE CAPTAINED THE SIDE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THAT SEASON AND SCORED HIS 100TH GOAL FOR THE CLUB IN THE FINAL LEAGUE GAME OF THE CAMPAIGN, AGAINST DERBY COUNTY.

 

 

THINGS CHANGED HOWEVER IN 1998, WHEN DENIS SMITH SUCCEEDED RAY HARFORD AS MANAGER. RECOVERING FROM AN ANKLE INJURY AND STRUGGLING WITH HIS FITNESS, TAYLOR WAS SENT OUT ON LOAN TO PREMIERSHIP CLUB BOLTON WANDERERS. WHEN ALBION WERE ONLY PREPARED TO OFFER HIM A ONE-YEAR CONTRACT, TAYLOR MOVED TO BOLTON PERMANENTLY IN JULY 1998 FOR A £90,000 FEE. HE WAS THE WANDERERS’ TOP SCORER IN THE 1998-99 SEASON, PARTNERING EIÐUR GUÐJOHNSEN AS BOLTON REACHED THE FIRST DIVISION PROMOTION PLAY-OFFS.. HOWEVER WHEN SAM ALLARDYCE ARRIVED AS BOLTON MANAGER IN 1999-2000, TAYLOR FOUND HIS CHANCES LIMITED.

WITH WEST BROMWICH ALBION STRUGGLING NEAR THE FOOT OF DIVISION ONE, MANAGER GARY MEGSON SIGNED TAYLOR IN A £90,000 DEAL, MAKING THE STRIKER ONE OF FOUR DEADLINE-DAY SIGNINGS BY THE CLUB. TAYLOR’S RETURN TO THE HAWTHORNS PAID OFF AS HE SCORED FIVE GOALS IN EIGHT GAMES, INCLUDING ONE IN A LAST DAY 2-0 VICTORY OVER CHARLTON ATHLETIC, TO KEEP ALBION IN DIVISION 1. HIS GOAL AGAINST FORMER CLUB BOLTON – AN OVERHEAD KICK IN A 4-4 DRAW – WAS VOTED AS ALBION’S GOAL OF THE SEASON FOR 1999-2000.

THE FOLLOWING SEASON (2000-01) THEN SAW ALBION EXCEED ALL EXPECTATIONS, REACHING THE DIVISION 1 PLAYOFFS, WHERE THEY LOST IN THE SEMI-FINAL TO BOLTON. TAYLOR BECAME THE 100TH ALBION PLAYER TO BE SENT OFF IN A FIRST TEAM MATCH WHEN HE RECEIVED A RED CARD AGAINST BARNSLEY ON 28 OCTOBER 2001. AFTER SCORING VITAL GOALS IN THE FINAL FEW GAMES OF THE 2001-02 SEASON AGAINST NOTTINGHAM FOREST, COVENTRY AND ROTHERHAM, HE SEALED ALBION’S PROMOTION TO THE PREMIERSHIP WITH THE SECOND GOAL IN A FINAL-DAY 2-0 WIN OVER CRYSTAL PALACE. “I’VE GOT MY BELOVED BAGGIES TO THE PROMISED LAND.”BOB TAYLOR

 

 

ALBION STRUGGLED IN THEIR FIRST SEASON IN THE PREMIERSHIP HOWEVER, WITH TAYLOR STARTING ONLY ONE GAME. IN MARCH 2003, HE EXPRESSED HIS UNHAPPINESS AT HIS LACK OF FIRST TEAM ACTION, SAYING THAT HE WAS FORCED TO TRAIN WITH THE ALBION YOUTH TEAM, AND THAT HE HADN’T SPOKEN TO MANAGER GARY MEGSON FOR FOUR MONTHS. ALBION WERE ALREADY RELEGATED BY THE TIME

BOB TAYLOR MADE HIS 377TH AND FINAL APPEARANCE FOR THEM, IN A 2-2 DRAW AGAINST NEWCASTLE UNITED ON 11 MAY, 2003.

 

 

 

IN WHAT WAS ONLY HIS SECOND START OF THE SEASON, TAYLOR WAS SUBSTITUTED DUE TO INJURY AFTER HALF AN HOUR, BUT LEFT THE FIELD TO A STANDING OVATION. BOB TAYLOR’S TESTIMONIAL MATCH WAS PLAYED AT THE HAWTHORNS ON 13 MAY 2003, IN FRONT OF 12,000 FANS. IT MARKED THE END OF HIS SECOND AND FINAL SPELL AT WEST BROMWICH ALBION, WHO HAD RELEASED HIM THE DAY BEFORE.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 GRAHAM WILLIAMS

 

 

Graham Williams

 

GRAHAM WILLIAMS WAS BORN IN HENLLAN, NEAR DENBIGH 2ND APRIL 1938. HE JOINED WEST BROMWICH ALBION AS AN AMATEUR IN SEPTEMBER 1954 AND TURNED PROFESSIONAL IN APRIL 1955 SPENDING 18 YEARS AT THE CLUB. HE STARTED OUT OUTSIDE LEFT BUT ADAPTED TO THE LEFT BACK ROLE TO BECOME THE MAIN STAY OF THE ALBION DEFENCE.

HE CAPTAINED THE SIDE TO VICTORY IN THE 1966 FOOTBALL LEAGUE CUP FINAL AGAINST WEST HAM UNITED WHICH HE SCORED IN THE SECOND LEG AND AGAIN CAPTAINED THE TEAM IN THE 1968 FA CUP FINAL, MADE HIS DEBUT AGAINST BLACKPOOL ON19TH NOVEMBER 1955 IN A 2-1 DEFEAT BUT IT WAS NOT UNTIL 1962 -63 SEASON THAT HE BECAME A FIRM FIXTURE IN ALBION’S DEFENCE PLAYING IN OVER 400 GAMES FOR ALBION 314 OF THEM IN THE FIRST DIVISION ALTHOUGH A FULL BACK HE SCORED 11 GOALS THE FIRST OF WHICH WAS AGAINST BOLTON WANDERERS 31ST AUGUST 1963. HIS FINAL LEAGUE GAME CAME ON 27TH DECEMBER 1969 AGAINST DERBY COUNTY AT THE BASEBALL GROUND DERBY HOWEVER HIS FINAL MATCH WAS THE LEAGUE CUP FINAL 7TH MARCH 1970 IN A 2-1 DEFEAT TO MANCHESTER CITY, WHAT A FITTING END TO A CAREER IF HE COULD HAVE LIFTED THE CUP JUST ONE MORE TIME,

 HE WAS GRANTED A TESTIMONIAL BY THE CLUB 28TH APRIL 1965 AGAINST A FORMER ALBION XI

 

 

 

AFTER LEAVING ALBION IN 1972 HE TOOK UP THE POST OF PLAYER-MANAGER WITH WEYMOUTH, WITH WHOM HE REMAINED UNTIL 1975.

 


 

WILLIAM WILLIAMS

 

 

Billy Williams

 

WILLIAM WILLIAMS (BILLY) BORN 20TH JANUARY 1876 WEST SMETHWICK PLAYED AS A FULL BACK (DEFENDER) JOINED ALBION IN 1894 FROM OLD HILL WANDERERS RETIRED IN 1901. PLAYED IN 180 LEAGUE GAMES SCORING EIGHT GOALS 23 GAMES IN THE FA CUP SCORING TWO GOALS, FIVE FRIENDLY GAMES SCORING TWO GOALS. MADE HIS DEBUT AGAINST SHEFFIELD UNITED IN A 2-1 DEFEAT AT SHEFFIELD IN FRONT OF A CROWD OF 12,000 SEPTEMBER 1ST 1894 AS A RIGHT BACK BUT ENDED THE SEASON AS LEFT BACK. HIS HOME DEBUT CAME AGAINST THE WOLVES IN A 5-1 VICTORY. IN HIS THIRD GAME OF THAT SEASON 15TH SEPTEMBER 1894 SCORED IN A 5-0 VICTORY OVER LIVERPOOL.

IN THE 1896 – 97 SEASON HE SCORED A FURTHER THREE GOALS A PENALTY AGAINST ASTON VILLA IN A 3-1 WIN, THE  AGAINST NOTTINGHAM FOREST 4-0 THE THIRD AGAINST BURNLEY IN A 3-0 VICTORY.1897 SCORED AGAIN AGAINST LIVERPOOL IN A 2-1 WIN, ANOTHER PENALTY AGAINST BLACKBURN IN A 1-1 DRAW , 1898 A PENALTY AGAINST BURNLEY 1-1 HIS LAST LEAGUE GOAL CAME AGAINST GLOSSOP IN A DIVISION ONE GAME IN A 3-3 DRAW, HIS FINAL GAME WAS 3RD NOVEMBER 1900 AGAINST STOKE CITY AT THE HAWTHORNS IN A 2-2 DRAW. HE RETIRED DUE TO INJURY BUT WAS APPOINTED TRAINER, LATER COACH THEN BECAME A LICENSEE.

HIS BIGGEST GAMES HOWEVER CAME IN THE FA CUP OF 1894 HELPING THE ALBION TO REACH THE FINAL SCORING THE WINNING GOAL IN THE SEMI FINAL AGAIN FROM A PENALTY AGAINST SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY AT DERBY AND THEN APPEARING IN THE FA CUP FINAL AT THE CRYSTAL PALACE AGAINST ASTON VILLA, THE VILLA WINNING 1-0 (BUT LATER THEY HAD THE CUP STOLE FROM THEM WHILE HAVING IT ON DISPLAY SO JUSTICE WAS DONE.) WILLIAM DIED 11TH JANUARY 1929.